In these difficult times, Local 1049 is working to keep you safe on the job. First, I would like to express our best wishes to any members who are sick or whose family members are sick with COVID-19. We know that this is a challenging time for all of our members and their families, especially for those with kids at home.
Please know that while the union office is closed for any walk in service, all of the business staff is working from home and representatives are still accessible. We are in constant contact with all our Companies/employers and we're working with them on managing the many safety issues and concerns as they arise. Every day brings new challenges and new grim news. The virus isn't stopping and our regions healthcare workers are overworked and some are under resourced. News is grim and in this ever evolving situation, our union, and other union's like ours, stand ready to do our part.
As utility workers we are deemed essential - meaning that no matter the crisis, we are asked to come to work and maintain our infrastructure. It is because of us that the hospitals are able to stay open to help our neighbors who are sick. Being essential means we must respond when called upon. It may mean temporarily working a little differently, however, we need to stand tall and let everyone know that IBEW Local 1049 is ready, willing and able to do their part in fighting this crisis. This is not the time to allow this crisis be an excuse to not get our jobs done.
Thousands of our neighbors have lost their jobs, and we are in the beginning of this recession, tough times are ahead. Many of our friends, family, and neighbors have been furloughed or laid off over the last few weeks, and we anticipate the worse is yet to come. One of our Utilities (National Grid) is in the process of suspending all non-Essential Gas work due to the COVID-19 crisis, which will directly affect our 300 Outside Gas members. Most, if not all will be Furloughed (laid off) by the end of next week.
We are in constant discussion with our employers on new ways to keep you safe, but it is important that you follow all protocols that are issued. Wear your PPE, wash your hands, and make sure to disinfect any trucks or equipment that may be used by other people. Be mindful of what you come in contact with when out in the field. Entering in public stores, door handles, counters, common areas, ATM buttons, gas pumps, etc. Protect yourself, we can work together on this and slow or minimize the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your dedication and hard work during this pandemic. I am so very proud of all of you.